Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Aug 23, 2010 03:06 PM

Seeking exhibition/open kitchen restaurants in SF/Oaktown

Hi all,
As the de facto place to read about restaurants in SF, I thought y'all might also be helpful for me to find a list of kitchen with open and exhibition restaurants specifically in San Francisco and Oakland.

I don't mean Andalu, where you see the cooks chugging away in a tiny space in the back corner.
I mean Lark Creek Steak where you can see all the cooks and sometimes here Chef pounding out orders at the expo line - that to me is an exhibition kitchen.
I don't mind restaurants like A16 or Laiola (now Tacolicious) where you can eat at a chef's counter as the kitchen is on one side - that to me is an open kitchen.

Can you help me build my list beyong these examples? I promise to share my dining experiences at each place as I watch those cooks work!


2355 Chestnut St., San Francisco, CA 94123

3198 16th St., San Francisco, CA 94103

Lark Creek Steak
845 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94103

2031 Chestnut St, San Francisco, CA 94123

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Commis in Oakland. Counter seat should give you a good view.

    3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

    2 Replies
    1. re: nicedragonboy

      Second on Commis. For me, the ultimate open kitchen experience.

      3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

      1. re: abstractpoet

        It's definitely fun to watch. I recall (maybe I'm wrong) that you have to make reservations specifically asking to sit at the counter. They do have non-counter seating, but you do not see anything. Though, the time I went, we got lucky and got a seat at the bar even though we hadn't reserved them. I also recall that only those at the bar could order the pris fixe option.

        The thing about Commis is that it can be hard to get a reservation (small), and is not cheap.

        Other East Bay ideas include:
        Liaison Bistro on Shattuck and Hearst in Berkeley, if you sit at the small bar.
        Brown Sugar Kitchen in Oakland for breakfast/lunch, if you can stand the wait, and ask to be seated at the counter.

        Brown Sugar Kitchen
        2534 Mandela Pkwy, Oakland, CA 94607

        3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

      1. Canteen. Wayfare Tavern.

        1. SPQR
          Heirloom Cafe
          Citizen's Band

          1911 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

          1. Restaurant B in Oakland. Boulevard has a counter in front of a couple of their stations.